There are two kinds of people in the world – vegans and those of us who aren’t. Attempting to bridge that gap is Thai Vegan, with their animal-product free menu. Thai Vegan, which already has locations in Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey, recently opened their newest location in Beverly Hills.
Upon entering, the waitress greeted us with the warning, “We’re vegetarian,” which I thought was pretty amusing. Once she saw that we weren’t discouraged, we were seated.
The menu carries your standard Thai fare – noodles, curries, fried rice – except they also have a entrees made with soy products replacing chicken, beef and even shrimp. Thai Vegan offers lunch specials (always a personal favorite), that includes rice, and, instead of a soup, three different appetizers. The $11 lunch specials are priced slightly higher than other Thai restaurants, but to be expected since you’re dining in Beverly Hills.
The one non-fried appetizer, had a couple of slivers of sauteed tofu, lettuce, cucumber, cabbage and carrots stuffed into a rice paper wrap. Although it certainly tasted healthy, it was not very flavorful and needed that peanut sauce.
The fried wonton and the spring roll were better, mostly because they were fried (fried=unhealthy=delicious).
The massaman curry had a chili pepper on the menu, indicating that it was spicy. I’m a weakling when it comes to spicy and did not find it a bit challenging. The curry had tofu, potatoes, carrots, kabocha squash, onion and peanuts. The soy chicken that was also in it was a surprise, since it wasn’t listed on the menu. While it looked like chicken, this soy imitation was a bit spongy in texture. As the dish already had tofu, the soy chicken seemed a bit superfluous.
The green curry, which had a chili pepper next to it as well, was the spicier of the two. This curry was filled with tofu, eggplant, green beans, zucchini, kabocha squash, broccoli, bell peppers and coconut milk, of course. The absence of fish sauce in both the curries was not noticeable.
My very picky daughter ate all of their Pad See Euw, flat-rice noodles with broccoli and carrots, leaving only a pile of carrots behind on her plate. Any time she eats broccoli without my nagging, it’s a win.
Thai Vegan successfully quashed my typical worry about feeling like something was missing in my vegan meal. I can’t say that the food here tastes better than your typical Thai restaurant, but it’s healthier for you and better for the planet.
Location –9907 1/2 S Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills 90212. Additional locations in Santa Monica and Marina Del Rey.
Website – http://thaiveganism.com
Kid-Friendly – Yes
Kid’s Menu – No
Vegan/Vegetarian Friendly – Yes
Gluten-Free Options – Yes